MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, for the first time admitted that his split with former party Secretary General Welshman Ncube in 2005 was a costly mistake which deprived Zimbabweans of the freedom that they so yearned for.
Addressing journalists at his Highlands home in Harare after signing a Memorandum of Understand with the now MDC leader; Tsvangirai said the signing of the agreement was the first step towards rectifying the mistake they made 12 years ago.
The MDC-T leader, who also signed a similar MOU with former Vice President, Joice Mujuru, who now leads the National People’s Party yesterday, said he and Ncube would open a new chapter that will see them craft a new political agreement to unseat President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980.
“It would also be equally dishonest not to recognize that in our journey with Professor Ncube we both made our own mistakes,” Tsvangirai said.
“We split our party in 2005. The cost of that vote splitting in addition to the blatant manipulation of results was delayed change for the people of Zimbabwe in 2008.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it takes humble leadership to accept one’s mistakes but it takes bold leadership to correct those mistakes,” Tsvangirai said.
For his part, Prof Ncube said; “I too take responsibility for the mistakes we have made in the past.
“The decisions that we made, which were clearly not always in the national interest in particular in relation to the splitting of the MDC. We accept that we divided our people, we divided the membership of the party which we should not have done.
“Let me associate myself with everything that he Tsvangirai) has said to you this afternoon both in terms of the vision, the economic and other policy interventions that we intend collectively to make post-2018 and his description of the nature of the political crisis that faces us as a people, which have caused us to be here today.”
Tsvangirai said he and Ncube had started the journey to free Zimbabwe way back in 1997 with the launch of the National Constitutional Assembly which sought to pen a new constitution that would guarantee peoples freedoms.
“Today, we take pride in that we achieved what we set ourselves to do - a new democratic Constitution with a superior bill of rights. This was against the wishes of President Mugabe and Zanu PF,” he said.
The MDC-T leader, however, noted that most parts of the new constitution, which came into effect in 2013, were still to be implemented, singling out the devolution of power to the provinces.
Tsvangirai said the MOU’s with other political parties will finally lead to the formation of a coalition government that would be caring and that will build a democratic, prosperous and free Zimbabwe.
He said the new coalition government would fully implement the constitution as part of its democratization process, adding getting into the 2018 elections as individual parties would be madness.
“If anyone in this country expects us to contest the next elections separately as we did in 2008 and 2013 and expect a different result, it will not only be a third moment of real madness, but the highest form of insanity and none of us is insane.”
Ncube and Tsvangirai split in 2005 after a misunderstanding over the MDC’s participation in the senate elections, with the former leaving to form a smaller faction which maintained the name MDC.